It was one of several charged exchanges Tuesday as Gorsuch mostly batted away Democrats' efforts to get him to reveal his views on abortion, guns and other controversial issues, insisting he keeps "an open mind for the entire process" when he issues rulings.

WASHINGTON Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch declared Tuesday he's made no promises to Donald Trump or anyone else about how he'll vote on abortion or other issues and testified he'll have no trouble as a justice holding anyone accountable, including the president who picked him.

During the long second day of his Senate confirmation hearings, Gorsuch made two notable statements in response to questions from members of the Judiciary Committee, and both related to Trump, who nominated him.

Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked Gorsuch whether Trump had asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case establishing a right to abortion, and what he would have done had Trump asked him to do so.

"Senator, I would have walked out the door," Gorsuch replied. "That's not what judges do."

When Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Gorsuch if a president is free to ignore laws on national security grounds, Gorsuch replied that "nobody is above the law in this country, and that includes the president of the United States."

On a day mostly devoid of drama, Gorsuch batted away Democrats' efforts to get him to reveal his views on abortion, guns and other controversial issues, insisting he keeps "an open mind for the entire process" when he makes rulings. His comments were similar in response to questions from majority Republicans as they tried to help him highlight his neutrality in the face of Democratic attempts to link him to Trump.

The abortion question was especially pointed because Trump himself has insisted he would appoint "pro-life justices" who would vote to overturn the 1973 Roe decision.

As Tuesday's questioning wore on, senators and Gorsuch engaged in a routine well-established in recent confirmation hearings. The nominee resists all requests to say how he feels about Supreme Court decisions, even as he is asked about them again and again. Such was the case with questions about rulings on campaign finance, abortion, gun rights, even a privacy ruling from 1965 that John Roberts explicitly endorsed in his confirmation hearing in 2005.

Gorsuch made one exception, describing the two-year-old decision extending same-sex marriage nationwide as "settled law," a term he did not apply to any other decision.

The 49-year-old Denver appeals court judge kept a smile on his face most of the day, although he seemed to show flashes of anger under questioning from some Democrats.

Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois pressed Gorsuch on claims by a former student at the University of Colorado Law School who said Gorsuch implied in a legal ethics class in April that he believes many female job applicants unfairly manipulate companies by hiding plans to begin families. She remembered him saying that many accept job offers but quickly leave with maternity benefits.

"Those are not my words and I would never have said them," Gorsuch said. He later explained he was trying to teach students about inappropriate questions from prospective employers, not endorsing such inquiries. Other students told the AP the accuser was misconstruing the lesson.

Gorsuch reacted sharply when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked him what he knew about a multimillion-dollar ad campaign run by a conservative group that backs his nomination. Ads have been running mainly in states won by Trump last year and in which Democratic senators face re-election in 2018.

"Is it any cause of concern to you that your nomination is the focus of a $10 million political spending effort and we do not know who's behind it?" Whitehouse asked.

Gorsuch replied: "Senator, there's a lot about the confirmation process today that I regret. A lot."